How can Austria prevent a repeat of the Ischgl fiasco?
In the coming winter season there will be hardly any restrictions for vaccinated and recovered tourists in Austria - apart from having to wear FFP2 masks in cable cars. With memories of the Ischgl resort fiasco in 2020 still fresh, the country's newspapers examine the rules that have now been adopted.
Nothing must go wrong here
The reputation of all Austria as a holiday destination is at stake in Ischgl - a popular resort village with just under 1,600 inhabitants and 390 hotels famed for its après-ski parties - warns Die Presse:
“The season starts at the end of October and the international cameras and microphones will be focused on the village from day one. If even one mini-cluster emerges in the Tyrolean mountains it will make headlines. ... The legacy of past mistakes is far from eliminated. And in the end no one will discuss the Covid restrictions, but rather the question: has this tourism destination learned from the mistakes of the past or not?”
Rules only good if enforced
Controls are needed to prevent ski resorts from becoming Covid hotspots once again, Der Standard stresses:
“Even if some will probably miss the quiet slopes of last season: one would not wish such a winter on the resorts again. Things remain complicated this year as well. ... The 3G rule (that one must be either vaccinated, tested or have recovered) applies to the hotel industry, restaurants and cable cars, plus the obligation to wear FFP2 masks. ... Now it is important to take this seriously, and controls play an important role here. After all, what use are the best rules if no one cares about them? That, too, will determine the fate of the companies and the holidaymakers.”